James, Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo: Who is the best full-back in the Premier League right now?

Cancelo vs James vs Trent

Reece James has been nothing short of sensational this season for Chelsea.

The 21-year-old continued his incredible form with a fantastic strike against Juventus during a 4-0 victory over Tuesday.

It was his fifth goal in 14 appearances this season.



James has been so good that many believe that he’s now the best full-back in world football.

But before we can consider James the best in his position in the world, we should remember there are also some other pretty decent full-backs in the Premier League.

The Premier League title race looks something of a three-horse race this season with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all looking strong.

What do they all have in common?

They all have an incredible full-back.

We’ve already mentioned James at Chelsea but Joao Cancelo at Manchester City is playing some sensational football right now. Then there’s Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool who is providing assists for fun.

Three of the best full-backs in world football.

But who is the best?

Cancelo vs James vs Trent

Well, if you were on social media last night, it seemed as though many are backing James.

But we wanted to cut through the fan bias and find out ourselves.

Comparing James vs Trent vs Cancelo

Therefore, using Squawka’s comparison matrix, we’ve pitted James, Cancelo and Alexander-Arnold together to find out how has been the best statistically this season in the Premier League.

We’ve worked out which player comes out on top using 35 different statistics. We’ve also ran the test ‘per 90 minutes’ rather than in total due to a difference in game-playing time.

The stats used are as follows:

  • Games Played
  • Touches
  • Ball Recoveries
  • Possession Lost
  • Goals
  • Shots On Target
  • Assists
  • Chances Created
  • Passes Attempted
  • Pass Accuracy %
  • Long Passes Attempted
  • Successful Long Passes
  • Long Pass Accuracy %
  • Crosses Attempted
  • Successful Crosses & Corners
  • Crossing Accuracy %
  • Successful Crosses from Open Play
  • Through Balls Attempted
  • Duels Contested
  • Tackles Made
  • Fouls Conceded from Attempted Tackles
  • Take-ons Completed
  • Take-on Success %
  • Fouls Won
  • Fouls Conceded
  • Aerial Duels Contested
  • Aerial Duels Won
  • Aerial Duel Success %
  • Ground Duels Contested
  • Ground Duels Won
  • Ground Duel Success %
  • Clearances
  • Interceptions
  • Blocks
  • Clean sheets

Premier League right-backs

The results

So, who came out on top and won the most statistics?

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 12.5
2. Joao Cancelo – 12
3. Reece James – 9.5

So, Alexander-Arnold was marginally been the best full-back in the Premier League this season, edging out Cancelo. Meanwhile, rather surprisingly, James comes out worst off.

Of course, stats don’t tell us everything but the fact that we’ve used such an extensive number of metrics, we think it’s certainly worth sitting up and taking notice of.

Whatever your opinion on the ‘best’ full-back, I think we can all agree that they’re all world-class and it’s an absolute joy to see them play every week in the best league in the world.

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